Cinéma Very Tame

Boyhood

A few quick confessions: Because we now have cameras, modern photorealistic paintings have always been, at best, modestly captivating to me. Similarly, most films considered “fictional cinéma vérité” have struck me as dull navel-gazing. Where’s the great art in replicating something a compelling documentary can, by its very nature, do better? Maybe it’s my latent rage that documentaries never get...

entered on 08/10/14 at 05:55 PM | read more »



Grade A-Holes

Guardians of the Galaxy

The proliferation of comic book movies has reached its cultural apex, so thoroughly dominating the box office and public consciousness that a backlash was practically invited. While the public plays Oliver Twist, wallets open and begging for more, those who critically engage cinema have begun the “tsk, tsk”-ing and the “poo-poo”-ing. Guardians of the Galaxy is a feast for the former and a...

entered on 08/01/14 at 09:57 AM | read more »



Lucy Goosey

Lucy

It doesn’t work this way with people, but there’s a level of confident stupidity a movie can display that makes it endearing. Lucy is that kind of stupid. Cocksure and confidently, it swaggers around, daring you to question any of the unimaginable number of scientific inaccuracies it hurls. You can practically hear writer/director Luc Besson just off screen whispering, “What are you gonna do,...

entered on 07/25/14 at 01:59 PM | read more »



Fuzzy Focus

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Time has whittled mainstream memory of the original late 1960s/early 1970s Planet of the Apes franchise down to an image of Charlton Heston’s clenched fist and the Statue of Liberty tanning her torchy top half on the beach. However, the original series was actually quite subversive and fascinating. It was compelling science fiction that occasionally skinny dipped in psychedelic waters.

With Dawn...

entered on 07/18/14 at 12:56 PM | read more »



“We’re Not a Girl Band”

We Are the Best

Punk was always as much about the mentality as the sound, as much about rebellion for rebellion’s sake as it was disorganized noise.  We Are the Best (Vi är bast) sports a cocksure swagger in its title alone, and rightfully so. It is a boisterous rejoinder to the usual simplistic, tame depiction of adolescent girls. Writer/director Lukas Moodysson has made a movie that isn’t just infused with...

entered on 07/11/14 at 01:11 PM | read more »



Ice, Ice Maybe

Snowpiercer

I’m not saying that the impoverished are going to grab axes and violently murder the wealthy elite. But I’m also not NOT saying that…

Writer/director Joon-ho Bong’s Snowpiercer does what the sci-fi genre does better than any other cinematic medium: examines modern life by asking a surreal “what if.” The “what if” in this case being a metaphorical examination of the redistribution of wealth and...

entered on 07/03/14 at 11:48 AM | read more »



Not So Fast, Rick Santorum

Obvious Child

I do not have a uterus. If I understand biology, I never will. So the issue of abortion has remained at arm’s length from me. This isn’t to say I have no empathy or opinion regarding America’s hottest of hot button issues, only that I realize it’s located under the heading “women’s health” for a reason. As Roger Ebert famously said, “Movies are like a machine that generates empathy.” If Rog were...

entered on 06/27/14 at 08:49 PM | read more »


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The Boxtrolls

A stop-motion romp with near-nekkid trolls and a cross-dressing villain.

GRADE
B-


The Skeleton Twins

A dramedy about suicide elevated by its stars.

GRADE
B


Frank

A band that has a lead singer with a fake head will win your heart.

GRADE
A-


The Trip to Italy

Another affable outing with two British comedians.

GRADE
B+


Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Still a fun place to visit, provided you're not a woman.

GRADE
C


The Giver

This adaptation of Lois Lowry's beloved award-winning classic will be none of those things.

GRADE
D


Boyhood

The only coming-of-age story anyone ever needs to make. 

GRADE
A+


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